Thursday, December 11, 2014

D Minor For Tact, fictional story by David Russell

Hello Grafted In Reader,
I wanted to share a Scrooge-type story typical for the season. The idea is not original, but that of a mentor of an online story group in which I participate. The story is original, under 800 words, entertaining and reminds us to balance personal achievement with compassion for another. Names, places and entities are truly fictional. Please enjoy and may we live out the story's purpose today and always.
D Minor For Tact
Part 1
by David Russell
Copyright David Russell
"This morning we have Beatrice Walker as guest on the Open Line show, and are sure we will hear from several interested gracious callers. Ms. Walker is the resident conductor of the International Philharmonic and will be leading the 50-piece orchestra on a December tour through North America and throughout Ontareo," announced the host of the morning network talk show.
"I am pleased to be directing this orchestra as we will be performing piano concertos by Beethoven and the 5th symphony of Beethoven, likely his most famous work," she informed the listening public. Beatrice ran a tight ship and probably tended to micro-manage much of the orchestra's affairs.
It was early December and Brad was the first chair viola player in the orchestra. His wife was about to give birth to their first child. After the morning rehearsal, he approached the conductor and asked for a private 2-minute meeting.
"I need the time off to be with my wife as we are expecting our first child. The other 5 viola players should be able to cover my absence and produce a full sound," he exclaimed. Pounding her fist on the table she flatly refused his request. Underneath she wanted to be known, noticed, and recognized as one of the leading conductors in this genre of music. Any weak links would threaten her end-goal.

The next week, a repeat meeting was attempted and she added, "I do not have time for such trivial matters. If you wanted to be a father and raise a family, then you should have been an educator not a performer."

The orchestra arrived at the airport near Deluth, Minnesota on the 15th where they would fly to their first performance stop, London, Ontareo Canada. The instruments were loaded on the charter 747 and the members of the orchestra boarded.
"I am going to call all names to make sure we are all numbered and counted for. If anyone is missing, they will be immediately fired and receive a series of bad press articles that I had crafted by the Devious Marketing Agency," announced Ms. Walker as she stood resolutely in front of the group. All names were heard. Everyone appeared to be in place.
Six hours later the orchestra were on stage at the performance center in London. A tall Douglas Fur with plentious lights was on one side of the stage.
"For our first work, we are performing the "Fifth Symphony of Beethoven" Ms. Walker announced to the capacity crowd. Glancing over she noticed the bright lights, the smiling faces, the decoratively multi-colored auditorium, the padded plush velvatine seats, and that her first chair viola player was missing.
"Where the hell is my viola player," she sternly but softly inquired of the group. The show must go on and did.

At intermition a curier brought a telegram to the orchestra's temporary chambers. The note read, 'Stayed home, wife passed away due to serious medical complications during labor" Someone in the orchestra had recorded the viola player stating his name and covered for his absence. Ms. Walker was given a D Minor for tact by the press and after the tour released by the governing board of the International Philharmonic. The viola player was approached and assumed duties as temporary conductor for the remainder of the season. He received an A Minor for leadership, working under hardship, and compassion for his co-workers and all concerned.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

And So This Is Christmas - John Lenin

Hello Grafted In Reader,

Today is December 3 in my corner of blogland. Holiday music is in full hearing on many radio stations across North America, and Cyber Monday and Black Friday are now historic cultural occurrences. This month, I want to encourage our focus to return to the first century and see our heritage not in a Roman Catholic 3rd century phenomenon, but a small town known as Bethlehem where people made yearly pilgrimage, observed Hanukkah, and identified one another either by name and birth place, or name and son of or daughter of ...

I commend to your reading an article pasted here from an online copy of Slate Magazine from 2008 which I believe to be timely. Until next time, Kevod Yeheveh, His presence enfold you today and always. Yeshua is with us!
Was Jesus a common name at the beginning of the first century?
By Brian Palmer
Jesus Christ
Painting by Ary Scheffer, 1851.
Photo courtesy Walters Art Museum via Wikimedia Commons
Christians will soon celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Was the Christian Messiah the first to have that name, or were there a lot of Jesuses running around back then?
Many people shared the name. Christ's given name, commonly Romanized as Yeshua, was quite common in first-century Galilee. (Jesus comes from the transliteration of Yeshua into Greek and then English.) Archaeologists have unearthed the tombs of 71 Yeshuas from the period of Jesus' death. The name also appears 30 times in the Old Testament in reference to four separate characters—including a descendent of Aaron who helped to distribute offerings of grain (2 Chronicles 31:15) and a man who accompanied former captives of Nebuchadnezzar back to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:2).

The long version of the name, Yehoshua, appears another few hundred times, referring most notably to the legendary conqueror of Jericho (and the second most famous bearer of the name). So why do we call the Hebrew hero of Jericho Joshua and the Christian Messiah Jesus? Because the New Testament was originally written in Greek, not Hebrew or Aramaic. Greeks did not use the sound sh, so the evangelists substituted an S sound. Then, to make it a masculine name, they added another S sound at the end. The earliest written version of the name Jesus is Romanized today as Iesous. (Thus the crucifix inscription INRI: "Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum," or "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.")
The initial J didn't come until much later. That sound was foreign to Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Not even English distinguished J from I until the mid-17th century. Thus, the 1611 King James Bible refers to Jesus as "Iesus" and his father as "Ioseph." The current spelling likely came from Switzerland, where J sounds more like the English Y. When English Protestants fled to Switzerland during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I, they drafted the Geneva Bible and used the Swiss spelling. Translators in England adopted the Geneva spelling by 1769.
In contrast, the Old Testament was translated directly from the original Hebrew into English, rather than via Greek. So anyone named Yehoshua or Yeshua in the Old Testament became Joshua in English. Meanwhile, the holy book of the Syrian Orthodox church, known as the Syriac Bible, is written in Aramaic. While its Gospels were translated from the original Greek, the early scribes recognized that Iesous was a corruption of the original Aramaic. Thus, the Syriac text refers to Yeshua.
Bonus Explainer: What was Jesus' last name? It wasn't Christ. Contemporaries would have called him Yeshua Bar Yehosef or Yeshua Nasraya. (That's "Jesus, son of Joseph" or "Jesus of Nazareth.") Galileans distinguished themselves from others with the same first name by adding either "son of" and their father's name, or their birthplace. People who knew Jesus would not have called him Christ, which is the translation of a Greek word meaning "anointed one."
Got a question about today's news? Ask the Explainer.
Explainer thanks Joseph P. Amar of the University of Notre Dame and Paul V.M. Flesher of the University of Wyoming.
Brian Palmer writes about science, medicine, and the environment for Slate and the Natural Resources Defense Council.